What molecule am I?
Vismodegib is a drug that the US Food and Drug Administration approved in 2012 for treating basal-cell carcinoma, a sometimes difficult-to-eradicate skin cancer. It is marketed by Genentech (South San Francisco, CA) under the trade name Erivedge.
Vismodegib is the first drug to be approved by FDA that targets the hedgehog* (Hh) signaling pathway. The Hhpathway is vital for the formation of organs in the body, and abnormal Hh signaling is associated with the development of cancer cells.
This past October, the Genentech research team received one of six ACS 2017 Heroes of Chemistry awards for developing products that improve people’s lives.
Genentech has more plans for vismodegib. It is in clinical trials for other cancers, including pancreatic, stomach, and lung.
*Why hedgehog? It’s the name of a signaling molecule that is encoded by the Hh gene. The absence of the gene makes fruit fly larvae look like the bristly animal of the same name.
Vismodegib fast facts
|CAS Reg. No.||879085-55-9|
|Molar mass||421.30 g/mol|
|Melting point||186–188 ºC*|
|Water solubility||≈1 g/L (pH 7)|
Glyphosate was the Molecule of the Week for October 5, 2009. For decades, glyphosate has been a widely used herbicide, but in recent years pesticide applicators have claimed that exposure to it caused non-Hodgkins lymphoma. This past week, however, the results of a study on 54,000 workers showed that there is no significant association between glyphosate exposure and cancer—with the possible exception of multiple myeloma, which may the the focus of future studies.
Learn more about this molecule from CAS, the most authoritative and comprehensive source for chemical information.
Molecule of the Week needs your suggestions!
If your favorite molecule is not in our archive, please send us a message. The molecule can be notable for its current or historical importance or for any quirky reason. Thank you!
Stay Ahead of the Chemistry Curve
Learn how ACS can help you stay ahead in the world of chemistry.